A year later, Kansas mother pleads for information on her missing daughter
Exactly a year after her daughter went missing, Judith Nystrom held back tears as she begged for answers.
"Please, somebody knows where she is," she said Friday. "Somebody knows what happened. Please tell us where she is."
Kendra Nystrom, 31, walked away from her parents' backyard and was never seen again by them on May 4, 2017.
Since that time, the Maize Police Department has held out hope that she would be found alive. But on the anniversary of her disappearance, investigators say it's highly probable that her disappearance was not voluntary and she is likely deceased, Detective Jeff Piper said.
“Kendra remains missing and the case remains unsolved and has grown cold,” Piper said.
She was seen on her parents' surveillance system going into their backyard with her dog, Frankie, before walking south along the Cowskin Creek.
"We have followed up on many alleged sightings and searched abandoned buildings, homes, fields and creeks to no avail," Piper said. "We have received information from multiple sources through various means far and wide."
She left behind her cellphone, wallet, car and clothing.
Investigators using cadaver dogs have searched areas of the creek multiple times and haven’t found any indication she was there.
On May 10, 2017, someone recorded what appeared to be an argument between two people near 37th Street North and 135th Street West, which is about a mile and a half from the Nystrom home. The video showed a woman getting out of and running away from a car stopped at the intersection and another person chasing her. Both people returned to the car and before driving away.
Piper said investigators can't say without doubt that the woman seen in the video was Nystrom, but he said the car is connected with her.
Nystrom's parents told The Eagle in October that she had substance abuse problems, and fell into a group of people who didn't have her best interest at heart. Her family has not kept her addiction secret and hoped someone in that community would step forward with information.
"There are hundreds of thousands of people across our nation and in our own communities who battle the demons of this illness every day," Piper said. "Some may feel these people created their own problems through their addition and therefore have little regard for what happens to them. However, many of these folks fall victim to crimes and horrible deaths. These individuals are someone's son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father. Regardless of a persons' life style, no human being deserves to be harmed by another person."
Judith and Bruce Nystrom said their daughter's addiction was lonely for her, and there were little places to get help.
"People ask me all the time how are you doing and I always say, 'Oh I'm fine,' but we’re not fine," Judith Nystrom said. "It’s been the most agonizing year of my life. We’re missing our baby. I know a lot of you say, 'Well it’s just another addict.' Well , she’s not. She‘s a daughter, a sister, a niece, a granddaughter and she’s loved by a lot of people."
Nystrom is about 5-feet-4-inches tall and weighs between 100 and 120 pounds. She has reddish, brown hair and the initials “R.J.” tattooed on her left ring finger.